Court of Probate Act 1857

Publication Date:January 01, 1857
Anno Regni VICTORI, Britanniarum Regina,Vicesimo & Vicesimo Primo. An Act to amend the Law relating to Probates and Letters of Administration inEngland .

(20 & 21 Vict.) C A P. LXXVII.

[25th August 1857]

'WHEREAS it is expedient that all Jurisdiction in relation to the Grant and Revocation of Probates, of Wills and Letters of Administration inEngland should be exercised, in the Name of Her Majesty, by One Court:' Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the Authority of the same, as follows

S-I Commencement of Act.

I Commencement of Act.

I. This Act (except where otherwise specially provided) shall come into operation on such Day, not sooner than the First Day ofJanuary One thousand eight hundred and fifty-eight, as Her Majesty shall by Order in Council appoint, provided that such Order shall be made One Month at least previously, to the Day so to be appointed.

S-II Interpretation of Terms.

II Interpretation of Terms.

II. In the Construction of this Act, unless the Context be inconsistent with the Meaning hereby assigned—

‘Will’ shall comprehend ‘Testament’ and all other Testamentary Instruments of which Probate may now be granted:

‘Administration’ shall comprehend all Letters of Administration of the Effects of deceased Persons, whether with or without the Will annexed, and whether granted for general, special, or limited Purposes:

‘Matters and Causes Testamentary’ shall comprehend all Matters and Causes relating to the Grant and Revocation of Probate of Wills or of Administration:

‘Common Form Business’ shall mean the Business of obtaining Probate and Administration where there is no Contention as to the Right thereto, including the passing of Probates and Administrations through the Court of Probate in contentious Cases when the Contest is terminated, and all Business of a non-contentious Nature to be taken in the Court in Matters of Testacy and Intestacy, not being Proceedings in any Suit, and also the Business of lodging Caveats against the Grant of Probate or Administration.

S-III Testamentary Jurisdiction of Ecclesiastical and other Courts abolished.

III Testamentary Jurisdiction of Ecclesiastical and other Courts abolished.

III. The voluntary and contentious Jurisdiction and Authority of all Ecclesiastical, Royal Peculiar, Peculiar, Manorial, and other Courts and Persons inEngland , now having Jurisdiction or Authority to grant or revoke Probate of Wills or Letters of Administration of the Effects of deceased Persons, shall in respect of such Matters absolutely cease; and no Jurisdiction or Authority in relation to any Matters or Causes Testamentary, or to any Matter arising out of or connected with the Grant or Revocation of Probate or Administration, shall belong to or be exercised by any such Court or Person.

S-IV Testamentary Jurisdiction to be exercised by a Court of Probate.

IV Testamentary Jurisdiction to be exercised by a Court of Probate.

IV. The voluntary and contentious Jurisdiction and Authority in relation to the granting or revoking Probate of Wills and Letters of Administration of the Effects of deceased Persons now vested in or which can be exercised by any Court or Person inEngland , together with full Authority to hear and determine all Questions relating to Matters and Causes Testamentary, shall belong to and be vested in Her Majesty and shall, except as herein-after is mentioned, be exercised in the Name of Her Majesty in a Court to be called the Court of Probate, and to hold its ordinary Sittings and to have its Principal Registry at such Place or Places in London or Middlesex as Her Majesty in Council shall from Time to Time appoint.

S-V Her Majesty to appoint Judge of Court of Probate.

V Her Majesty to appoint Judge of Court of Probate.

V. There shall be One Judge of Her Majesty's Court of Probate; and it shall be lawful for Her Majesty from Time to Time, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, to appoint a Person, being or having been an Advocate of Ten Years Standing, or a Barrister-at-Law of Fifteen Years Standing, to be such Judge.

S-VI Judge's Tenure of Office.

VI Judge's Tenure of Office.

VI. The Judge of the Court of Probate shall hold his Office during good Behaviour, provided that it shall be lawful for Her Majesty to remove any such Judge from his Office upon an Address of both Houses of Parliament.

S-VII Judge before acting to take the following Oath.

VII Judge before acting to take the following Oath.

VII. Every Judge of the Court of Probate shall, before executing any of the Duties of his Office, take the following Oath, which the Lord Chancellor or the Master of the Rolls for the Time being is hereby respectively authorized and required to administer:

'IA.B. do solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, That I will duly and faithfully, and to the best of my Skill and Power, execute the Office of Judge of the Court of Probate. So help me GOD.'

S-VIII Rank and Precedence of Judge, &c.

VIII Rank and Precedence of Judge, &c.

VIII. The Judge shall have Rank and Precedence with the Puisne Judges of Her Majesty's Superior Courts of Common Law atWestminster according to the Date of his Appointment, and he shall have a Secretary and Usher, to be from Time to Time appointed and removed by him at his Pleasure.

S-IX Salaries of Judge, Secretary, and Usher.

IX Salaries of Judge, Secretary, and Usher.

IX. There shall be paid to the Judge the net yearly Salary of Four thousand Pounds, and to his Secretary the net yearly Salary of Three hundred Pounds, and to his Usher the net yearly Salary of One hundred and fifty Pounds.

S-X Judge of Court of Probate to be also Judge of the Admiralty Court on the next Vacancy.

X Judge of Court of Probate to be also Judge of the Admiralty Court on the next Vacancy.

X. Upon the next Vacancy in the Office of Judge of the High Court of Admiralty ofEngland it shall be lawful for Her Majesty, if She so think fit, to appoint the Person then being Judge of the Court of Probate to be also Judge of the said Court of Admiralty, or in case the Office of Judge of the Court of Probate become vacant before the Office of Judge of the Court of Admiralty, the Judge of the Court of Admiralty may, with his Consent, be appointed to and hold also the Office of Judge of the Court of Probate, and after the Union of the said Two Offices they shall be thenceforth held by the same Person.

S-XI As to Increase of Salary upon Union of the Two Offices.

XI As to Increase of Salary upon Union of the Two Offices.

XI. From and after the Union under this Act of the Two Offices of Judge of the Court of Probate and Judge of the Court Admiralty in the same Person, the said yearly Salary of Four thousand Pounds payable under this Act shall be increased to Five thousand Pounds, and the Salary now payable to the Judge of the Court of Admiralty shall cease.

S-XII Retiring Pensions of Judges.

XII Retiring Pensions of Judges.

XII. Her Majesty, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom, may grant unto any Person executing the Office of Judge of Her Majesty's Court of Probate an Annuity, not exceeding Two thousand Pounds, or if such Person be also executing the Office of Judge of the said Court of Admiralty, not exceeding Three thousand five hundred Pounds, to commence immediately after the Day when the Person to whom such Annuity shall be granted shall resign the said Office or Offices, and to continue during his natural Life; provided that Her Majesty may, in and by such Letters Patent, limit the Duration of Payment of such Annuity, or any Part thereof, to such Periods of Time during the natural Life of suchPerson in which he shall not exercise any Office of Profit under Her Majesty, so that such Annuity, together with the Salary and Profits of such other Office, shall together not exceed in the whole the said Sum of Two thousand Pounds or Three thousand five hundred Pounds, as the Case may be: Provided also, that no Annuity granted to any Person having executed the Office of Judge under this Act, except the present Judge of the Prerogative Court, shall be valid unless such Person shall have held such Office for the Period of Fifteen Years, or have held such Office and any of the Offices of Judge in any of the Superior Courts of Law or Equity or the High Court of Admiralty for Periods amounting together to Fifteen Years, or shall be afflicted with some permanent Infirmity disabling him from the due Execution of his Office, which shall be distinctly recited in the said Grant.

S-XIII District Registries to be established.

XIII District Registries to be established.

XIII. There shall be established for each of the Districts specified in Schedule (A.) to this Act, and at the Places respectively mentioned in such Schedule, a Public Registry attached to and under the Control of the Court of Probate, herein-after referred to as ‘The District Registry.’

S-XIV Appointment of Officers of the Court of Probate.

XIV Appointment of Officers of the Court of Probate.

XIV. There shall be Three Registrars, Two Record Keepers, and One Sealer for the Principal Registry of the Court of Probate, and there shall be One District Registrar for each District Registry herein-after referred to as the District Registrar, and there shall be so many Clerks and other Officers for the Court and the Principal Registry as the Judge of the Court, with the Sanction of the Commissioners of Her Majesty's Treasury, may from Time to Time think fit: Provided, that if at any Time it appear to Her Majesty in Council that the Duties of the Registrars of the Principal Registry of the Court of Probate can be performed by Two Registrars, it shall be lawful for Her Majesty by Order in Council to direct that the Number of Registrars for such Principal Registry be reduced accordingly.

S-XV As to Appointment of the First Officers of the Principal Registry.

XV As to...

To continue reading

Request your trial